On Monday, the college Quiz Bowl world was rocked to its core as The University of Chicago was charged with multiple recruiting violations. If proven, Chicago’s Quiz Bowl team, 25 times national champion, faces the academic death penalty.
Preet Vishnu, the NCAA’s Director of Compliance for Academic Bowl competition offered the following: “It’s long been the dirty secret of top Quiz Bowl programs that some of them are bent. Just like NCAA basketball teams have turned to hookers and blow to lure top recruits, there are some bad actors in the Quiz Bowl world too. Of course, the enticements are a little bit different. Hookers are still a mainstay, after all, nerds are a lot more likely than basketball players to be swayed by sex but drugs are a non-starter. Many of the top programs have chosen to offer under the table enticements known as ‘nerd candy.’ In this case, Chicago is specifically charged with offering prospective recruits Teslas, dates with cosplayers, first edition DC comics, tickets to Comic-con, lunches with Megan Fox, rides in Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair (which the University reportedly purchased for just this purpose), vintage Atari games, and backdated Google numbers. The latter involves a little known perk in which Chicago Quiz Bowl graduates are offered positions at Google, and their employee numbers are backdated to the double-digits.”
On Monday, Chicago’s coach, Shiva Ramakrisnathes denied the charges: “It’s true that many cosplayers like to date University of Chicago quiz bowl players—I’ve had a number of run-ins with Ant Girl myself. And of course, Google loves to hire our alumni because we produce some of the smartest graduates in America. But we are looking forward to the opportunity to proving that our team’s success is caused by our hard work and brilliance and not through any type of shady dealing. It’s no accident we’ve been national champions 25 times and it’s certainly not due to perfidy. We’re simply the best.”